The CFNV Challenge – by Jane Ngai


Never. Give. Up. – Competing for the first time as an individual

By Jane (aka Insane Jane)


As many of you know, last weekend Feb 2-3rd was a local crossfit competition over at CF North Vancouver.  In the past, this event was exclusively an Olympic Weightlifting competition where our box has produced some amazing results from participants in the past.  This year’s format also included a crossfit component to make it an overall challenge!  Our submissions this year included Coach Viktor and Dave Kuch but unfortunately, a nagging injury kept Kuch from safely testing his individual prowess.

So, ONE WEEK before the challenge begins, I got a message asking me to substitute for this event.  What?  Well, I was apprehensive 4 months ago.  Compete as an individual athlete?? “Ummmm, no. I’m not good enough”.

But after some thought, “You know, it’s just another weekend of wodding.  No big deal.  Sure!”

2 days before game day, my body gets slammed in the face with SICK.  My nostrils were like open faucets.  Head felt like a balloon and my throat was thick with congestion.  Great.

Let me tell you, I was NEEEEEERVOUS.  I’ve never lifted in any kind of Olympic weightlifting capacity other than the stuff we do at the box.   3 attempts at a max weight Snatch.  3 attempts at a max weight Clean and Jerk.  The numbers were in KILOGRAMS.  Uhhhh? What?  So I just let Coach Marco pick the numbers for my lifts… better to not know right?

I practiced some heavy squat snatches in the warm up pit.  No problem.  I can do this…. My palms were sopping wet.  I could do this!  After what seemed like an eternity, my name gets called up.  I step out into the lifting area and look up… “Ahhhhh!!! MY OVERDRIVE FAMILY!!! HIIIII!! Oh hiiiiii!”  I see everyone’s beaming amazing faces!!

I FAILED all three snatch attempts.  Two of which fell on my neck IN FRONT OF AN ENTIRE AUDIENCE.  I was crushed.  I wanted to quit.  I sat in the corner of the warm up pit feeling like a dejected pile of unwanted leftovers.  I’ve never dropped weight on myself like that ever… what happened??  Nervous jitters??  It didn’t matter.  Tears were starting to well up and I just wanted to leave.

My moment of consolation came when one of the judges outside came into the warm up pit to give me some words of advice.  I had no focus.  I was too busy looking at everyone and not concentrated on the lift.  Once the bar left the ground, my mind was in the twilight zone.  I just needed to focus….

Clean and jerks.  This time, I didn’t look at anyone.  I focused on my breathing.  I nailed 2 of my 3 lifts… Finally.  I could finally relax a little.  There’s a number up there.

As the rest of the weekend progressed, I gradually became more relaxed.  I may have been emptying my mucuous-filled nostrils every 30 seconds and sandpaper licking my dry as bone lips but whatever.  It’s just another weekend with some WOD thrown in!  I was in my element!  I was laughing, chatting up and dancing with my fellow competitors.   There were high fives, hand-shakes, pats on backs and laugh grunts of exhaustion.

Pretty much all the WODs that were proposed during the challenge were do-able and within reason.  For heck’s sake!  WOD#3 was 5 minutes of rowing!  We do this at the box too!! Sure it hurts but intensity is our game!  WOD#4… FRAN!  It may have not been my best time but I managed to give it my all.  WOD#5 was an AMRAP full of movements we do at the box all the time (wall balls, double unders, box jumps, etc)!  Albeit I nearly came in last again (toes to bar is my weakness), I made up for it in the last WOD.  Double KB swings/KB front squats/ burpees?  It’s all in the hip thrust!!  Without a clue of my time, looking to the stands at my overdrive family shouting words of encouragement put me into OVERDRIVE!

That sounded corny didn’t it?  Haha.  Looking back at this entire weekend, I have to say competing as an individual athlete is fun.  Despite the discouraging start, the take home message is: Never give up!!

The most amazing part of this whole experience was the sense of community and bravado from total strangers and familiar faces.  The opportunity to WOD with other strong women and men in the name of fitness was humbling.  We were celebrating something amazing!!  For that feeling alone, I would highly encourage everyone in our box to give it a try!!  Whether it’s a big regional event or a small community box-run event, we’re all part of one massive community.  “But I’m not good enough.”  “I’m not in shape.”  WHO CARES??? Just relax and have fun, you’ll have the support and cheers from everyone in this community whether you know them or not.

If it’s your first time as an individual like me, go into competition with zero expectations.  Congratulate yourself for even making that first step.  You never know how you’ll do.  For heck’s sake, despite my silly start I still ended up placing 19th out of 39 women.  Coach Viktor walked away from this weekend hitting MAJOR PRs on his lifts!! 200 pound Snatch and 251 pound Clean and Jerk!!

Never give up!  Here’s to the most amazing crossfit family I know, Crossfit Overdrive!! Xoxo!!